How to Administer an EpiPen

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Administer an EpiPen
Administer an EpiPen (Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hotmeteor/)

An EpiPen is an epinephrine injection used to treat severe, life threatening allergic reactions caused by a variety of things such as insect bites, food, medication, and latex. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include wheezing, shortness of breath, swelling, low blood pressure, hives, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and loss of bladder control. Epinephrine is a sympathomimetic agent used to relax muscles in the airways and tighten blood vessels. Severe allergic reactions can be fatal and administering an EpiPen may save a life, allowing more time to get to an emergency room.

Hold the cylinder of the EpiPen firmly in the fist, black tip pointing down.

Remove the activation cap.

Move the EpiPen so that the black tip is near the outer thigh.

Jab the tip into the outer thigh at a 90-degree angle and hold it in the thigh for a few seconds. The EpiPen may be injected through clothing.

Remove the EpiPen and rub the injection area with your fingers.

Check the EpiPen to ensure that the needle is showing. If it is not, repeat Steps 3 and 4.

Press the needle of the Epipen against a hard surface.

Put the EpiPen back in its carrying tube and replace the cap.

Go to the nearest emergency room as soon as possible, with the EpiPen that you used.

Tips & Warnings

  • It is alright if some liquid remains in the EpiPen; this does not mean the subject did not receive a full dose..
  • Some cases require a second dose, so ask the doctor or pharmacist if this pertains to your allergy.

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